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Many action/thriller movies, during the first few minutes, have a background news report that foreshadows the onset of some kind of danger, such as shark attacks, nuclear warfare etc.
Randall suggests taking the same approach to random news articles from real life, in order to make them more ominous.
The title text references ABC's The View where two of the co-hosts, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, were simultaneously fired (or resigned -- sources vary), the day before this cartoon appeared.
Also, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency recently threatened the US over the Seth Rogen movie The Interview, promising "stern" and "merciless" retaliation if the film is released. The threat has generated some hype for the yet unreleased movie.
- Today's News
- North Korea threatens U.S. over upcoming movie
- Shark populations booming off east coast
- SpaceX to attempt new rocket launch today
- [Arrow pointing down towards next pane.]
- [Cueball, holding a towel, walks past a TV with a news report shown onscreen.]
- Cueball: Bye! See you tonight!
- Offscreen: Have a good day!
- TV: Researchers are reporting record numbers of sharks...
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- To make news stories seem way more ominous, imagine you're hearing them from a background TV in a movie as the main character leaves.
There is a trope for this kind of thing. --Koveras (talk) 08:11, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
- I think the news tropes  and  are more specific to this scenario. 188.8.131.52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I almost made the following edit: "that foreshadows the onset of some kind of danger, such as shark attacks, tornadoes, shark-tornadoes" with the last part linking to the Sharknado article on Wikipedia. Is explainxkcd allowed to be this silly? I think we should be this silly. 184.108.40.206 09:21, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
- Why not? It is a legitimate movie. Also, that towel might be a "Hitchhiker's Guide..." reference, if it is indeed a towel and Cueball is the main character. But it might be a cape or something else. 220.127.116.11 11:51, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
No, the towel signals that he is going swimming, as the background TV predicts shark attacks. Rtanenbaum (talk) 12:53, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
What does the stuff with The View have to do with foreshadowing? Unless it's implying that Ms. McCarthy is going to try to drown herself in shark infested waters while our protagonist tries to save her... --Andyd273 (talk) 13:48, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
- It doesn't. The explanation needs to be changed to read 'the title text' instead of 'the title' in the paragraph talking about The View. I'll fix it. --Dangerkeith3000 (talk) 15:04, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
- "Unless ... Ms. McCarthy is going to try to drown herself in shark infested waters" We should be so lucky. 18.104.22.168 16:15, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Is there a Jaws reference here? Or does Randall just really love sharks?22.214.171.124 19:06, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
- por_que_no_los_dos.jpg? 126.96.36.199 18:20, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Why does the movie reference have to be action/thriller? The 'news report in the background' has been used for all types of movies to foreshadow something that will happen later in the film. It's also used in other media, though it probably is most popular in movies. --Ima420r (talk) 03:36, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
My first guess after reading the comic was that all the news stories appeared related. North Korea threatening the USA, possibly by attacking them with a shark invasion. Then a rocket to take out the sharks. Tharkon (talk) 22:17, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Should we be ruining people's lives like that? 188.8.131.52 12:44, 18 November 2015 (UTC)